Despite its armed forces being well-equipped and potentially having a significant technological advantage, Taiwan will always be dwarfed by China, who, in recent years, has become increasingly assertive on its subjugation in the democratic island country. Thus, like how David defeated Goliath, Taipei needs to be more strategically smart to outwit their giant bully of a neighbor, Beijing.

Seeing how effective drones are in bolstering defense capability and counteroffensive tactics in the battleground of Ukraine, Taiwan has spent ample resources on ramping up its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) capacity—particularly focusing on homegrown innovations to ensure self-sufficiency in times of conflict.

Key to Asymmetric Warfare

On Tuesday, Taiwan showcased some of its latest homegrown combat drones to the public, introducing these cutting-edge technologies as a key weapon to its “asymmetric warfare” capacity. Taipei’s armed forces have collaborated with the country’s most renowned manufacturers to strengthen its defense capacity against a far larger Chinese military.

National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), a military-owned manufacturing corporation, unveiled eight locally developed UAVs—including five models shown to the public for the first time. While these drones vary in size, they are all outfitted with the latest technology, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) satellites, ranging from combat to surveillance capabilities to accommodate Taiwan’s military branches.

In a report by Reuters, NCSIST head Art Chang said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had prompted the island country to seek to develop more military drones, as it saw its effectiveness in fending off assaults as well as in conducting counterattacks and surveillance without putting soldiers at risk.